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3 thoughts on D’Andre Barnes commitment to Nebraska Football



Nebraska Football
Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Nebraska football signed D’Andre Barnes on National Signing Day and here are three thoughts on the commitment for the Huskers.

It turns out, Nebraska football fans didn’t have to wait long to hear from D’Andre Barnes on National Signing Day. Barnes, a three-star prospect out of Colorado, was supposed to sign sometime on Wednesday night at his high school.

But instead of waiting all day, Barnes announced his commitment to the Nebraska football program early Wednesday morning, eliminating any drama and putting a bow on the Huskers’ 2023 recruiting class.

Nebraska football is expected to sign a total of five players on Wednesday: Barnes, Jeremiah Charles, Ismael Smith Flores, Sua Lefotu, and Demitrius Bell.

Charles, Bell, and Barnes played wide receiver in high school. Barnes was a productive player on both sides of the ball with 37 receptions for 785 yards and nine scores on offense, as well as 55 tackles, six interceptions, eight pass breakups, and two forced fumbles.

However, Barnes is going to be a defensive back, and here are three thoughts on his commitment.

Speed, speed, speed

Before Matt Rhule was hired as Nebraska football coach, it was well-known that he recruited speed. He wants a team of athletes and Barnes certainly fits the mold. He was the 200-meter state champion in Colorado for his classification and ran a 21.49 in the 200-meter as well as 10.69 in the 100.

Anything sub-11 seconds is pretty fast. Add to the fact that Barnes is a 6-foot-1, 175 pounds and that could be a really nice get in the secondary, or someday at receiver. This kid is an athlete. He can also help in the return game and he’s worth taking a shot on late even though he’s not that highly ranked.

Aggressive roster overhaul continues

Nebraska football has now signed 28 players in its 2023 class. It’s a pretty big number but this program needed an influx of talent and especially speed. Rhule has done that by attacking the state of Nebraska and also Texas. However, the late period also shows Nebraska can go beyond those states.

It went back to Texas for a couple of its late signees in Charles and Smith Flores who played for tight ends coach Bob Wager. However, Bell is from Tennessee, Barnes is from Colorado and Lefotu is from California.

That’s a positive sign for the Huskers, who should be recruiting at a national level. Tennessee is starting to blow up as a recruiting area and so is St. Louis. Nebraska could also use a stronger presence in California.

Beyond that, if you add 11 transfers, Nebraska football has added 39 scholarship players in this cycle and that’s almost half of the 85-man roster.

People can debate if this is a total rebuild, a reset, or whatever, but there’s no doubt, Matt Rhule has put his fingerprints on the roster and he’s wasted no time building a team in his image.

We’ll see how it shakes out but almost 20 scholarship players are going to need to leave by the time fall camp starts in August and the spring is going to be huge in terms of roster management.

Nebraska really knows how to close under Rhule

Nebraska football wasn’t perfect in the 2023 class. It had some misses, but outside of Walter Rouse, the transfer, Nebraska didn’t miss on many 2023 recruits that visited campus.

Some were already committed elsewhere such as Beni Nyogi, but Nebraska won most of its contested recruitments since Rhule took over such as Malachi Coleman, Cameron Lenhardt, and even Barnes, who was offered by BYU and could have visited there instead of Nebraska football last weekend.

Getting kids on campus and to Lincoln is huge and this staff has been spectacular at turning those visits, into commitments. Rhule held almost all of the 2023 commitments (prior to his hire) based on those visits, and outside of Hayden Moore which was about the only one Nebraska really wanted, the Huskers didn’t miss.

That’s a really good sign going forward. This staff is great at identifying players that will fit at Nebraska, getting them on campus, and closing the deal. It’s going to be fun to watch that in 2024 and as I have said many times before, I’m extremely impressed and excited about the work Rhule has done and is doing on the recruiting trail.

Nebraska football hasn’t won a game under Matt Rhule. I get that. But it feels like finally, this thing is headed in the right direction.

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More crystal ball projections for Nebraska Football ahead of big weekend



Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Nebraska football has landed two more crystal ball projections ahead of a huge recruiting weekend for the Huskers.

There are going to be 26 recruits on campus this weekend visiting the Nebraska football program. Five-star quarterback Dylan Raiola is the headliner, along with a number of other top-100 recruits and the top-ranked player in the state of Nebraska Carter Nelson.

It’s one of the most impressive visit weekends for Nebraska football recruiting in a long time, maybe ever, but how many commitments are going to come this weekend if any?

I certainly wouldn’t expect a pledge from Raiola. As much as Nebraska football fans might want that, the top-ranked QB in the 2024 class just scheduled an official visit in June with Georgia, the defending national champs. This is on the heels of another visit to UGA, so the Huskers need to recapture some momentum.

The key objective with many recruits will be getting them back for an official visit. Gatlin Bair is a name that comes to mind since the kid is ranked 40th overall in the 2024 class via 247 sports. He’s visiting this weekend and if the Huskers got him back for an official visit in June, they’d have to feel good about their chances.

However, Nebraska football could land a couple of commitments this weekend. One candidate is three-star tight end Ian Flynt. He visited back in January, has family ties to Nebraska football, and just received another crystal ball projection for the Huskers. That’s four total for the No. 456 overall recruit in the 2024 class (247 composite).

A commitment might not happen this weekend, but I’d look for a commitment date coming soon out of this weekend. Flynt is out of Texas and so is three-star offensive lineman Gibson Pyle, who also received a crystal ball projection on Friday (Flynt did too).

Pyle is 735th overall and he teased an announcement a couple of weeks ago but it didn’t come. He’s got six crystal ball predictions for the Huskers and that’s another potential commitment to watch out for this weekend.

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Nebraska Football hosting elite tight end, 4-star EDGE to return



Nebraska Football
Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

The Nebraska football recruiting buzz has been off the charts and another top-100 recruit is on campus today plus more on the Huskers.

Matt Rhule and the Nebraska football coaching staff have been doing a spectacular job on the recruiting trail. The Huskers are set to host 26 recruits this weekend and that number could grow.

However, those weren’t the only visitors for Nebraska football this week. On Monday, the first day of spring ball, the Huskers hosted a three-star offensive lineman and also Willis McGahee IV, a four-star EDGE.

McGahee is out of Miami, Florida and his dad, of course, was a legendary running back for the Hurricanes who also played for the Bills and Ravens in the NFL. The pedigree is there and the 6-foot-1, 225 pounder who is actually a three-star in the 247 sports composite rankings, is expected to return for the Nebraska football spring game.

McGahee is listed by 247 sports as a linebacker, but he’s an EDGE. He had 13 sacks as a junior and he’s got the kind of athleticism that Rhule loves. This is definitely heading in the right direction for the Huskers but Florida, Tennessee, Texas, and UCF are all set to get visits too and are in the mix.

Nebraska football hosting top 100 tight end

Rhule and the Huskers are trying to make the state of Missouri a bigger priority and so far, it’s worked pretty well. Nebraska football is making headway in the state, especially with one of the best Missouri prospects in the 2024 class in Jaden Reddell.

Reddell is 6-foot-5, 225 pounds, and out of Raymore, Missouri. He’s ranked 68th overall in the 247 sports composite rankings for the 2024 class and is fourth among tight ends, as well as a third-ranked player from the Show Me State. He’s also visiting Nebraska football on Thursday according to his Twitter account.

The On3 prediction machine currently gives the Missouri Tigers a slight advantage, but this will be the second trip for Reddell to the Nebraska football program. The next objective will be getting him back for an official visit in June.

That’s the same with McGahee. If he comes back for the spring game and then takes an official visit, you’d have to feel good about Nebraska’s chances. And while fans want commitments, visits are an important part of building the relationship that can lead to a commitment down the line.

As of now, Rhule and company are doing exactly what they should on the recruiting trail and it’s refreshing to see.

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Nebraska Football in good spot for 2024 WR Gatlin Bair



Nebraska football has been recruiting at a high level ever since the new coaching staff stepped on campus. They have made their recruiting priorities clear, and that includes 2024 Idaho wide receiver Gatlin Bair.

Bair is the ninth overall wide receiver in the 2024 class. The wide receiver is the top player in the state of Idaho, and has a 95 overall numerical ranking on 247DSorts. He has two schools in the lead for his recruitment in Michigan and Nebraska. Garret McGuire is taking care of Bair on Nebraska’s end, and it appears the coach is making a good impression.

Bair could give Nebraska a downfield weapon that spreads the field. This is something that Nebraska football wants in the program, as they are targeting playmakers that open up the offense. He has the size and speed to be a legitimate threat, at six-foot-two, 180 pounds. The Huskers have gotten several playmakers already in the offense. Bair would fit the bill, and make the wide receiver room even deeper.

Initially, he was one of the more under-recruited prospects, but now more programs are catching on. Even still, the wide receiver spoke highly of the Nebraska football program during a recent interview with the Omaha World-Herald. Bair is coming to Lincoln this weekend, along with several other prospects for the big Junior Day. He really likes the energy   surrounding the program, and the willingness of McGuire to learn as transcribed by Sam McKewon.

“There’s just an energy about the program,” Bair said Tuesday evening. “It just seems like every single person in the building really wants to turn that program around and get things rolling. I was really drawn to that, and what they’re trying to do.”

“I really like people who are open to learning,” Bair said of the 23-year-old McGuire, perhaps the youngest assistant in major college football. “I don’t like people who are set in their ways. I really enjoy the fact that he’s open to learning and progressing. That would allow me to progress with him at the same time, allow me to grow.”

It seems as though Nebraska football recruiting pitch has been very good to this point. Several fans were worried about McGuire’s age, but it seems as though that is not a problem for recruits. It certainly bodes well for Nebraska football that Bair thinks so highly of them. This could be extremely important heading into the upcoming weekend.

Nebraska football will not have a shortage of wide receivers, nor will they have a shortage of talent in the room. Bair’s recruitment and subsequent interest is proof of that.

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